Hot on the heels of the Android Go smartphones showcased by Nokia, ZTE and Alcatel at the Mobile World Congress (MWC 18) in Barcelona, Indian phonemaker Lava International Ltd has launched an Android Go smartphone called Z50 in India. It is the first Android Go smartphone in India and will be available at Rs 5,000 on over 100,000 retail outlets after 15 March. Among Indian smartphone makers, Micromax too has showed interest in Android Go.
The Lava Z50 runs Android Oreo (Go Edition) which is an optimized version of Android Oreo for low-configuration smartphones, and runs Lite version of Google Apps, which load faster, use less data and take up less space. So instead of regular Google apps such as Google Assistant, Google Maps, Gmail and YouTube, Lava Z50 comes preloaded with their alternative light apps such as Assistant Go, Maps Go, Gmail Go and YouTube Go, respectively. Google has also integrated the data saver mode into the OS while the Google Play Store has been optimized too so it will highlight apps which will run smoothly on Android Go.
In terms of hardware, the Z50 is a typical budget smartphone. It runs on MediaTek’s entry-level MT6737m processor paired with 1GB RAM and offers 8GB internal storage with the option ot add more via microSD card. The 4.5-inch display is big enough for casual users, but has resolution of just 845X480p.
Google has assured some of the Android Go smartphones will cost under $50. This is the price point where Android Go devices will have a bigger impact.
At Rs 5,000 there are better smartphones available than the Lava Z50. For example, Amazon’s 10Or D starts at Rs 4,999 and offers a much bigger 5.2-inch screen with resolution of 1,280X720p. It runs Android 7.1 with stock Android UI, is powered by a slightly superior Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 quad-core processor with 2GB RAM and offers 16GB internal storage with the option to expand it with microSD cards.
Xiaomi’s Redmi 5A is also a good option and has almost similar specs as the 10Or D smartphone, but run Xiaomi’s proprietary MIUI 9.